Big wedding celebration.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
When I got married I told my mother I only wanted to have people at my wedding
who wouldn't say such things as "look how much you've grown," meaning I didn’t
want any guests who hadn’t seen me for a while.
Set a 'ballpark figure'
A long time has passed
since then and still I witness a lot of stressful moments when my clients are
working on their wedding lists and have to decide whether to have a big or small
The guest list is pretty much the first
step of the wedding planning process. The number of people will affect the venue
and the budget. I ask my clients before our first meeting to do "their homework"
and come with a "ballpark figure" combining the lists of parents of both sides
and their own list. The first "ballpark figure" is usually what they end up with
in the end.
You don’t have to be William and Kate in order to have a
big wedding. Some people have big families, others have business obligations and
some people have a lot of friends.
Having a big wedding with over 500
guests usually restricts you to big wedding venues, and there aren't so many of
those around. If you have a large budget it's possible to hold the wedding at an
alternative location such as a golf course, vineyard, agro farm, hangar,
deserted quarry or even in the desert. In all cases it is important to have a
spacious venue in order that you will feel comfortable.
Other than the budget, big weddings usually come with a mixed
crowd who may not necessarily be familiar with one another, have little
connection to the bride and groom or see it more as a social obligation rather
than a joyful happening.
In order to give this crowd a "good time" you
have to have fewer intimate moments and invest more in the content, so that it
will become a "dinner party and show" event rather than including lots of
speeches. One of the huge advantages of a big wedding is a crowded dance floor
filled with happy, dancing, mingling guests.
If you want to go the extra
mile you can introduce them to yourselves and your family by creating a family
tree or have photos of the wedding family members displayed.
The mathematics of hosting
It takes approximately one minute to say
a quick "hello" and have some small talk. Let's say you have 800 guests, you
talk with couples only and your share of the guests is 33 percent; it will still
take you two hours and 12 minutes just to say the minimum and that is if all
other parties take their fair share.
It also takes considerable logistic
planning to host 800 guests. Make sure you have enough service personnel and
that the caterer is capable of handling such amounts. You don’t want to have
people lining up with their plates in their hands for a long time in the case of
a buffet, or drying out at their tables in case of a served dinner. You also
need to plan an extremely large bar, or alternatively divide it to two or three
bars. No one should be hindered of service due to a large crowd.
are obliged or choose to have a big wedding make sure you can handle the stress
of being at the center of the attention of so many people and enjoy it. There
are really only a few occasions in your life that are such profound causes for
celebration and connection. Take advantage of the opportunity to have the party
of a lifetime and celebrate in style.
Mini or Small weddings
of the most intimate weddings I threw had 50 guests of close family members and
friends. It was a Friday noon wedding and held in the mother of the groom's back
yard in a countryside Moshav.
When you hand pick your guests and have
only loved ones, you can have everything you please. You have more freedom to
customize your wedding to your own tastes, starting with the menu, which can be
less "all flavors" and more of your own likes and wishes. Moreover, you actually
know if there are any food restrictions for any of your guests.
You also have more freedom as to when you can sing, dance and
do everything else you may wish to do. No one will judge you – they will simply
cherish those precious moments they are sharing with you. Having such a cozy
event gives plenty of room for your guests to be involved and share some of
their own personal touches.
If you feel uncomfortable having a mini wedding at
your own "home base" you may consider having a destination wedding
Decided on going midi – and need to cut wedding list short
When you are
making wedding cuts start by double checking your lists to make sure you don’t
have overlaps and then ask yourself these important questions about each one of
When was the last time you spoke to them?
How often do you see
Would you be offended if you weren’t invited to their wedding?
be a part of your lives forever?
The answers you get will bring you to your
conclusion fast. Throughout the process, remember to be practical, considerate,
respectful and sensitive (especially when it comes to parents’
What to do if you don’t want it big but still have so many
In the Jewish tradition we are given the perfect solution of Sheva
Brachot (seven days of feast after the wedding). Imagine having a mini-midi
wedding with your closest circles and then having the opportunity to celebrate
seven more nights with different crowds (parents’ friends / business associates
/ University buddies etc ). Think of it is an everlasting wedding.
Or do what I had for my wedding: Have 100-150 guests at the
main wedding event and then have some more events afterwards such as a party for
friends in a nightclub if you couldn’t invite all of the young crowd or a
Saturday-Sunday brunch / picnic if you didn't manage to fit in all your social
obligations to work associates. You even have the option of making these events
days apart so you have the opportunity of sharing your wedding photos with your
guests – so they will be a part of it too.
P.S you can always
Big or small wedding - Israeli terms:
Small Wedding – 50-150 guests
Medium size wedding - 200-400 guests
Big Wedding – 500 – 1200 guests
is the owner of SIGNATURE EVENTS boutique which specializes in weddings and
special events. With over 18 years of experience she brings you interesting
insights when coming to plan your dream event in